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MATCH PREVIEW: Cobh Ramblers v Wexford

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Cobh Ramblers face a second home game in a row this Saturday night, as bottom placed side Wexford visit St Colman’s Park.

Stuart Ashton’s men suffered a 2-0 defeat to Treaty United last weekend, having beaten both Cork City and UCD in the weeks prior. Charlie Fleming and Matt McKevitt scored the visitors’ goals in the Munster Derby.

Wexford have seen an upturn in performances under new boss Ian Ryan. League leaders Shelbourne escaped with a narrow 1-0 victory last time out. The former UCD coach has steadied the ship at Ferrycarrig Park but is eager to match this with points on the table. Former Shelbourne defender Lorcan Fitzgerald has added much experience to the side while in Jack Doherty they have a talented playmaker who always causes Ramblers problems.

The Rams have a good record against the South East outfit of late. The last three meetings have all gone Cobh’s way, and Ramblers are unbeaten in these clashes since 2015. The sides last met in April, when Ciaran Griffin and Killian Cooper scored in a 2-1 Cobh win.

Midfielder Pierce Phillips has made a full recovery and started last weekend for the first time since Gameweek 2. Defender Cian Murphy is also set to return from a knock which has seen him miss the past two games. Caelin Rooney is nearing a return to fitness while Darren Murphy is a possible doubt and will be assessed before kick-off.

David O’Leary is likely to miss out this weekend, while John Kavanagh and Regix Madika are still out in the medium-long term. Young defender Cathal Crowley has left the squad to join UCC in the Munster Senior League.

Prior to the game manager Stuart Ashton gave his thoughts on last week against Treaty,

“The first half was quite even. The second half, for all our play, we didn’t break them down. We weren’t creative enough. We had a couple of chances that we could have done better with but from that point of view we were poor. It was disappointing. We have to cut out the silly mistakes this week. We can’t legislate for those as individuals and as a team.”

Pierce Phillips also spoke to the assembled press and looked ahead to the Wexford tie,

“It wasn’t the result we wanted. But we’ve had setbacks before so we just have to try and bounce back from it. Obviously the league table isn’t looking great but things can turn around very quickly.

People might look at Wexford and see them at the bottom of the table but they are no push-overs. They are losing by one goal in very tight games. It’ll be a tough match. We found that out when we played them earlier in the season. They scored late on to scare us and we can’t afford any mistakes on Saturday. We need the three points so we have to go in with the right mindset.”

Kick-off on Saturday night is at 19:00. One hundred season ticket holders will be admitted again following a reduction in Covid restrictions. The game will also be streamed live on LOI TV here.

All other games in the First Division take place on Friday night. Athlone host Bray Wanderers, Cork City visit leaders Shelbourne, Cabinteely entertain UCD and Galway take on Treaty.

Preview: Cobh Ramblers – www.cobhramblers.ie

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